If there was a NBA Jam version for relievers, it would go to the Royals bullpen. They are the hottest team since sliced pimento loaf, and as of this typing, are finding themselves tops in the AL Central. I have said it before and I will say it again– play the hot hand until it slaps you where it shouldn’t. They are led recently and not recently, as in all year, by Wade Davis. Davis, on the year, has been just stellar: 6-2 K rate over 13 and has allowed only 5 ER all year. That my friends is about as robust as the McRib sandwich being not not real rib meat. Over the last two weeks Davis has lead the world in Holds with 7. His subtle sidekick has been a nice mix of Jason Frasor and Kelvin Herrera, both garnering fantasy value in their own way. Frasor notching 2 wins in relief and Herrera grabbing 4 holds for himself… both guys also have the same ERA as Davis during the last 2 weeks. It’s zero, so stop with the guesses. Ride the lightning here as the Royale’s w/o cheese are scorching the universe like a bikini waxing store. Stay tuned for more middle relief haps and slaps.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The deadline will have past by the time you’re reading this, so I’m sorry that I can’t meet or exceed all those expectations. What I can do is give you the in’s and out’s of middle relief. Wait, why did everyone just get up and leave? There is punch and pie at the end! So is everyone else confused on what to do with Will Smith?… yeah, me too. He’s been getting beat up lately needs a vacation. Smith leads the league in appearances, is the leader in appearances with the lead by a non-closer (41), and has pitched an amazing 17 times on consecutive days. He has rewarded you with 19( albeit painful) NSVH, but his recent implosions may lead me to think there could be a better option for the time being. His BB/9 over the last 30 screams bad news, (P.S., it’s in the seven’s). I mean, I know the 24 Holds this year is all good and looks like a Canal St. watch, but if you have someone that just reads stats and doesn’t read between the lines of fantasy too well, see if they give you a name you like better. My best advice is pull a Judas Priest and run for the hills. Stay tuned for some charts and fun words and sentences that lead to abbreviated paragraphs. Good luck in the week to come.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ahh, I remember the Midway, it was fun it was like an air show but instead of crashes there were bullets. I was just informed by Jay that statement is both wrong and wrong. Moving on as graceful as Martha Graham. So I was actually thankful for a few days off, unhappy I didn’t make the all-star team, but I’m told that poor vocabulary and lack of knowledge of the home row keys are not determining stats that merit all-stardom. Holds are fun, I don’t care what you say, if that makes me a loser for rooting for a fake stat, then I’m a loser. This guys help your team though even if you don’t play in a Holds or NSVH league. I am being serious. I am the Will I am Tell of the loogy business. Let’s check out my four up and four down for the closers in the second half, and stay around after that for some set-up news and blues.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I know bad raps can make a career… I mean Shaq made his secondary career off of them, but Joel Peralta is really getting one. Everyone loves change, and the whole shiny new toy factor associated with bullpens, but I’m here to learn you something about guys that have been drafted, dropped, and then added and dropped twice over this year. The Tampa Bay bullpen, and starters for that matter, are just bad this year. But, in the last 30 days, Peralta has lowered his ERA by 3-and-half runs. That’s not exactly easy, especially on a team 15-plus games below .500. Also, he has more K’s, same ERA, and more Holds than the now more-coveted Jake McGee during the last 30 days. Better pitcher all year, McGee, better lately? Peralta (but he burned us, so we give him the finger). Just me giving my two cents. I mean fluctuation, and “oooh that guy looks good in macrame shorts” are a blinding factor for rostering fringe bullpen guys. Stick around for some cool bullet points shaped like baseballs… neat.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Everyone knows about the top prospects getting called up. The Singleton’s, Tavares’, and Springer’s get all the pub, as they should. Hitters that actually hit the ball only need to be successful 3 out of 10 times, and they are considered fantastic… even all-stars. Now a pitcher gets 3 out of 10 wins, he’s a bum of the highest order, like a bum that can’t play an instrument, but has a puppy for sympathy change. We all know that guy. So the rookie RP getting called up around this time may stick with their respective teams, and they may not. The three in particular I am referring to are Cam Bedrosian, Shae Simmons and Corey Knebel. Bedrosian’s numbers in the minors are crazy unimaginable, and he could find himself in a great situation once he gains the trust of the bullpen-opath in Scoiscia. The latter two are prolly not really factors, just yet as Simmons is blocked by the current GOAT at the position, and Knebel, albeit the first 2013 draft pick to make the majors, is going to be a bit-player until next year unfold’s. I just wanted to point out that bullpen only-guys that get promoted need some love, it’s not like they smell like that musically challenged, puppy wielding guy from previous. These adds are more of a deeper league or keeper league adds now, though I have speculated on Bedrosian in a 16-teamer with a deeper bench.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Lots of haps going on in the end-game of fake baseball this week. Matt Lindstrom fell down and sprained his crown. Surgery has already happened, so if you’re stuck in traffic, or your league has weekly adds instead of daily, Ronald Belisario looks like the dude. In case your looking for alterior adds, Daniel Webb looks like he will get some looks, as Belisario isn’t a spring chicken, nor proven commodity. So add willingly if space allows. Also in Oakland, where nothing ever survives, or lives there permanently, according to Jay(Wrong) [Ed. Note-- I was wrong. Bail Bondsman flourish there...], they finally got smart, used their shoe phone, and called in the option that may have been the right choice all along. Sean Doolittle is the shiny new toy, until the new shiny toy comes around or he breaks. I love me some Doolittle. If there was a wagon that hosted bands on it, I would be a groupie I guess. He has the K rate, the arsenal, but gets the whole “he is a lefty” shenanigans. So look past his Loogyness and just dig on the beard and 12-plus K rate, or if that doesn’t do it for ya, the 30/1 K/BB ratio. Or if that doesn’t get ya… well, err… that was my last detail, sorry. Enjoy the tidbits of straight sizzurp laced knowledge that Stephen Hawking would even Ctl+Alt+Esc.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Happy Mother’s Day to all the folks out there today with mothers. No, not you pod people! And stop doing that Invasion of the Body Snatchers screech, I haven’t slept in days. Every Mother’s Day, I like to turn my bloodshot eyes toward the mother of all Razzballin’ terms – SAGNOF! Is there a question we scribes get asked more about than where to find the steals and the saves? Maybe, but I ignore all backup catcher queries. Sorry, it’s something they teach up at the fantasy baseball college. When it comes to finding the elusive SAGNOF!, we’re going to have to wade into the deep end of the waiver waters. “Son, you just had a Hot Pocket, you gotta wait 30 minutes!” Thanks, Mom, but I’m a big boy now, and my fake baseball life is infinitely more important than my real life, since I basically punted saves on all my RCL teams and I’ve been drowning ever since. Let’s fire up the Jammer Crammer© machine and see if there’s anything left for us SAGNOF! starved Razzaholics to salvage. Since it is Mother’s Day, I’ll let my mom give her opinion on each player. What greater gift can a son give his mother than an opportunity to say something on Razzball? Damn, I’m cheap. Keep in mind your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru’s mother calls fantasy baseball “Stratty-Matics.” Hey, she’s close, give her credit. It’s time for the SAGNOF! edition of Jam it or Cram it.
If you’re looking for some bonus jams and crams, check out Razzball Radio where Nick and your well turbaned Guru talk jams of the week, Manchurian Candidate, and we’re all left wondering why it’s so hard for the Guru to sit still. Out of Ritalin, thanks Obamacare!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Hey, hey, hey, talking relievers on Thursday. What could be better? Well, maybe ice cream covered in Kate Upton. Actually strike that and flip it. That sounds better. OR exactly the same. Regardless, the top ‘pens are starting to take shape as we reach the 1/5 part of the season. The who’s are the who’s and the what the eff’s are, well, what the eff’s. The MLB average for bullpen ERA is 3.92. Now, that isn’t exactly something that makes you have confidence in any teams collective bullpens. That’s why you get to be selective… take who you want and disregard the rest. It’s like the Chinese buffet down the street– not everything looks edible, and yeah, you will probably get sick from most of it, but there’s some value savings. Always go with the soup, excellent starter, can’t go wrong with that option. So, take a look at bullpen arms that are doing these three things: Save situations, games with the lead, and total batters faced (and the percentage of K’s from that). You have those three things, you have a stout middle reliever. Yeah, I hear ya dude in the corner with his hand raised, there are other stats that we should look at. Everyone looks at them, every site pounds you on the simple stats. Dig deeper, look past the first page of stats and do something different. Sorry… I was yelling. I get mad when I am hungry. Food for me, continue reading and comments for you.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ah, charts with actual stats are so much nicer to look at. The first bullpen report of the year was like reading Playboy in braile, ’cause technically we shouldn’t need both hands, but we do. The cream is rising to the proverbial top when you look at the chart below. The familiar names are settling in, and if you drafted some of them, or they have been mentioned in the closenado of 2014 for save chances, they probably are owned, were owned or some semblance there in between. Middle relievers are like that old cartoon Pound Puppies, yeah they are cute and good ‘n all, but they are still living in the pound in acartoon. No homes to go to, no freedom… Sad, but as kids we were fooled. Relievers are much the same, they never really have a home unless we give them one.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The debates will always rage on– the chicken or the egg, bacon or more bacon, and quality or quantity? All are equally important discussions, I mean who doesn’t want more bacon? But for pretend-baseball sake I am going to focus on quality vs. quantity. Relief pitchers continue to get a bum rap, judged as useless and set to harsh shunning like dudes subjected to Megan’s Law. Well, I’m here to learn you something, or at least completely waste your time for 10-12 minutes. I ask you, who doesn’t want more K’s with low ratios? Sounds like the 24-36-24 dimensions of that skin mag you “borrowed” from that zany uncle. K/9 is the stat that people tend to light up there funky jazz cigarettes to. They bask in it, the better… the more greedy. So why not just stream SP and get all the K’s you want? Well there are reasons for and against it.Please, blog, may I have some more?